I spent all of last week writing/thinking/emoting about terrible things and while the Awful has hardly abated, I’ve decided that this week, I won’t write about it. I’ll tweet, I may well comment elsewhere, but this space will be largely Awful-free — except at the end of each post, where I will provide a few links to Your Day In Horrible, should you feel the need.
We get to vote, drive, and keep our own hours, more or less, not to mention that the pay is better.
I remember (I mean: really, really remember, visuals and the whole thing) being a four year old, being ooh-ed and ahh-ed over by a group of third or fourth graders, and just thinking “Can you not see the book in my hands? I want to read.”
I never wanted to be cute. I wanted to be taken seriously. Which is, let’s face it, kind of tall order for a tow-headed girl who is, in fact, totally cute and, moreover, the youngest of three children. I wasn’t taken seriously nearly anywhere, and if I tried to demand it? Well, wasn’t that just the cutest thing! (Which goes a long way toward explaining how I deal with my own, undeniably adorable children, but that’s another post all together).
So mostly I like being an adult because adulthood is a prerequisite, in most circles, to being taken seriously.
However. And yet. Regardless (and even irregardless, if irregardless were a word): There are a few pieces of childhood that I really I miss. Not the sorts of things that we’re told to miss by cultural gatekeepers who appear to forget what childhood actually is, once they’re out of it themselves, but other stuff, stuff that comes largely from being kind of new to the world, kind of fresh out of the box.
- Pre-birthday excitement. These days, about every other year, my birthday is more irritant than celebration. It falls in September, after a nearly endless round of summer birthdays (the husband, the daughter, and the son — all of them — plus lots of other family). In a perfect world, a week before my birthday, the husband would inform me that all and sundry have come together, made a plan, I need not worry my pretty head, and — oh hey! He just got a surprise bonus, and he’ll be using it to shower me with fabulous gifts! Which is, frankly, kind of what happens when you’re a kid. Someone else makes great plans, and then you get showered with gifts. What’s not to love about that? Who wouldn’t miss that? Today, on the other hand, I know exactly what we can and can’t afford — and “fabulous gifts” tend to be the latter.
- The absolute certainty that if I have chosen to take up an activity, I will be awesome at it. Late 1970s skateboarding, anyone? As but one example. When I asked for a skateboard, and got it — dude. I was going to whale! When I got a smidge of style and bought a few particularly attractive items — I was going to be my school’s fashion plate! A bit earlier, when I decided that I was going to work with the blind — I was going to be my generation’s Annie Sullivan! The realization that, in fact, none of that would happen was slow in coming, and arrived hand-in-hand with the understanding that perhaps I didn’t really enjoy the skateboard very much, nor was I all that interested in Braille, and while being a fashion plate might be fun, being lower middle class in a patently wealthy community was going to serve an understandable barrier. Which is to say, it’s not like this knowledge shattered me or anything. But that kind of confidence is fun when you feel it — and there are days when having access to it now would, it must be said, be an altogether delightful thing.
- Being carried places. The husband (who is quite genuinely as adorable as his kids) has offered to do this for me. But I’m not particularly small, and he’s not particularly large, and anyway, to be carried as a child is — arms wrapped around, head drooped, nose against the warm scent of a beloved and trusted neck — he would have to be, what, nine feet tall? Something like that, surely. And that would be a most inconvenient height differential for almost any other purpose, not least, furniture buying. But I do wish that he could stretch now and then, magically grow big enough to take me in his arms, carry me upstairs, lay me gently on the bed, and pull the sheets up. He does sometimes pull the sheets up for me, and tuck me in. And it makes me smile, and burrow into my pillow, and tell him I love him. For I do. He is, after all, one of the best perks of adulthood I’ve found to date.
Your Day In Horrible:
- The battle over workers’ rights – Michigan edition.”In Michigan,” Talking Points Memo tells us, “new Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has just passed a bill through the legislature to allow state-appointed financial managers to void municipalities’ union contracts.”
- U.S. Calls Radiation ‘Extremely High’ and Urges Deeper Caution in Japan. “The chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” we learn in the New York Times, “gave a significantly bleaker appraisal of the threat posed by Japan’s nuclear crisis than the Japanese government, saying on Wednesday that the damage at one crippled reactor was much more serious than Japanese officials had acknowledged and advising Americans to evacuate a wider area around the plant than the perimeter established by Japan.”
- Curfew follows deadly Bahrain crackdown. Al-Jazeera reports (and provides a suitably distressing, brief round-up video): “At least six people are reported dead and hundreds injured after security forces in Bahrain drove out pro-democracy protesters from the Pearl Roundabout in the capital, Manama. A 12-hour curfew came into force at 4pm in areas of the city including the roundabout, the Bahrain Financial Harbour, and several other buildings which have recently been targets of protests. By then, most of the area had been cleared after troops backed by tanks and helicopters stormed the site – the focal point of weeks-long anti-government protests in the tiny kingdom – early on Wednesday, an Al Jazeera correspondent said.”
- Libya: Red Cross pulls out of Benghazi, fearing attack. “The organisation said it feared an attack by forces loyal to the country’s leader Col Muammar Gaddafi may be imminent,” the BBC reports. “Government forces say they have captured Ajdabiya, the last town before Benghazi, but the rebels deny this.”